Causes of child labour

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Edited by 2 users.
Last edit: 11:44, 19 April 2011

Please share your understanding on the causes of child labour.

Child labour is a know fact in Zambia. When you look in the streets children are the ones selling groundnuts and many other things. This has stood the test of time and issues of child labour have not been adequately handled.

Lungowe (talk)03:06, 4 March 2011

Child labour is caused by low income levels. If a family has working parents and their income is not enough for household needs, parents or guardians may force their children to be involved in some form of child labour.

GabKon (talk)06:37, 4 March 2011

Hi Everyone,

Child labour in most countries can and is caused by the high poverty levels of families, as well as one being orphaned hence having to engage in it, lack of financial support from guardians etc but in a nutshell most of these causes are interrelated and children of one parent POVERTY!!!

Mwaba (talk)10:00, 17 March 2011

Some other causes of child labour are:

  • poverty,
  • parental illiteracy,
  • social apathy,
  • ignorance,
  • lack of education and exposure
  • exploitation of cheap and unorganized labor.
  • family practice that inculcates traditional skills in children also pulls little ones inexorably in the trap of child labor, as they never get the opportunity to learn anything else.          
  •             (Source:

GabKon (talk)07:04, 4 March 2011

Child labour refers to the employment of children at regular and sustained labour. This practice is considered exploitative by many international organizations and is illegal in many countries.( So many factor may result in child labour. In my view I think poverty is the root cause for this. Other factors are the lack of (proper) education, high unemployment rate of parents, High school fees, insatiable human needs, economic hardships, single parenting, divorce or death of parents.

Kafuiaheto (talk)11:52, 4 March 2011

Dear all,

Thank you for the very lively discussion so far. This is certainly a strong network of advocates for children's and young people's rights. Please also be encouraged to interact with fellow participants in the discussions.

From your discussions so far, you have shared examples pointing to the link between child labour, poverty and other social and economic factors. In this way, you have highlighted that even though poverty is a significant determinant, it is not necessarily the main cause of child labour. We will now move to the next discussion.--Lungowe 07:04, 4 March 2011 (UTC)

Lungowe (talk)19:04, 4 March 2011

Child labour has also become rampant due to the fact that these children are ophaned and as a result od HIV/AIDS. They are left to fend for themsleves. Here is a link showing the child labour activities in Zambia Farai-Zambia

Faraic (talk)19:11, 4 March 2011

Hi Mui.

Poverty is the main causes of child labour, Poor parents send their children to work, not out of choice but for reasons of economic expediency. The hunting grounds for child traffickers are invariably areas of the most extreme poverty where families have exhausted all other strategies for survival. Economic setbacks arising from recession, climate disater, longlasting civil conflict, lack of education and unemployment. Excess population, you must have observed that poor families have more number of children it usually become very difficult for them to survive on the income so they make their children to work, hawking. While some carry their infants on the street to earn money from begging and most of them indulge in prostitution.

Chichi (talk)22:43, 4 March 2011

Hello Everyone,

Has anyone bought items from a Child hawker before? Well I have, and sometimes I do just to get the child off the street at night. A personal experience I had was of a child who was out as late as 8-9pm local time in my country, just waiting to sell the last bunch of banana. Probably, that child may have been asked not to come home until each bunch is sold out.

My point is that the major reason parents will have their children out late at night hawking is poverty, well there are other causes, such as ignorance, traditional beliefs and practices, like other colleagues have stated, but Poverty is responsible for majority of the cases.

Shining Star (talk)22:44, 4 March 2011

Shining star an all,
I just want to throw the spanner to the work hoping that my boss Victor will not delete this post since I believe that this is a valid question; can child labour be justifiable in any circumstances? I take your example of that little child selling out bananas and your action to buy from the child knowing very well that you are advancing child labour- the advocate you are, regardless.
Look at this scenario, a child is orphaned and is at the age of 17 and has two siblings who have nobody else to look upto; of course we know that our respective societies can be very cruel to orphans. This young teenager mobilises little resources to start a hawking business where he manages a meal for his siblings...... of course this is child labour but with a different circumstance. Would we frown at this or congratulate it as innovation when we look at the contribution of this child in securing a future for his siblings? Or is child labour evil. period!

Marcosmburu (talk)03:52, 8 March 2011

Dear Shining Star
I'm sorry to tell you that you have supported child labour. What you did is really encouraging child labour. I'm sure you saw that child the next day at your door or neighbourhood. What is unethical cannot be justified underany circumstances. I think you should have taken that child to the Police so that the parents would be dealt with by the law.

Pkakorsu (talk)07:54, 20 April 2011


Child labour is not only common in Zambia, it is also common in Nigeria. However, the causes of child labour to my understanding are: poverty of the mind and money, parental care, ignorance, family practice, and quest for cheap labour.

Ubandoma (talk)06:41, 8 March 2011

Child labour in most countries can or is caused by the high poverty levels of families,Poverty is the main causes of child labour, Poor parents send their children to work, not out of choice but for reasons of economic expediency. As well as one being orphaned hence having to engage in it, lack of financial support from guardians.

our government here in Botswana is trying by almeans to help overcome poverty hence preventing child labour but in a way someway somehow one might find herself involve in child labour due to some things which are beyond or control , I had to find myself at some point doing some piece jobs during my school vacation in order to meet my siblings needs .

But let me tell you the truth right now I wish I can go back to my young age and enjoy to be a child , because I think I grow up so fast , I didn't go through some stages which some children went through , I always wish my parents were still alive by then and i could have not gone through what I went through.


Koziba (talk)00:10, 24 March 2011

The Causes of Child Labour

These are various underlying causes that are prevalent behind this slavery practice.

Child Abuse

An example is the child labourers that 90 percent of workers employed in hazarous cracker industry are chilodren.

Exploitative Employers

The employers pay less wages and no leave is allowed .

  • Poor financial background of parents
  • Parents in the hope of earning money and repaying loans normally sends their children to work.
  • Girl child labourers have no choice, they are at risk of being exploited sexually . Apathy of the society people still want such kids as domestic helpers for law wages.

This is not happening in my country but was just giving an overview of what might be the causes of child labour.

Koziba (talk)23:01, 9 April 2011

Though this not under discussion

I think these can be the solutions of child labour

There are no maginal solutions but if a collective effort is taken, conditions may improve.

Parents - should be provided financial help : this will make them more sensitive towards their children . Imparting basic education skills All the schools should be opened for abondoned child labourers. This will enable them to focus on their education

Law enforcement agencies

Should be made active . This would deter employees from employing them underage. Social revolution is the biggest key . Once |Media mobilizes biggest key. once media mobilizes the society ,the practice shall stop .

Thus it is essential that the economic condintions should be imporved for the child labor to stop .When parents would think of sending their children to school as compared to mines and factories, but a social revolution at basic level is needed where every one of us should refuse to employ an underage domestic help. Children are the future dreams of every notion. Let us pledge to make to make their childhood safe and secure.


Koziba (talk)23:14, 9 April 2011

Hi All, In most cases poverty is the main driver of child labour. The absence of alternatives at the family level, child labour becomes one of the coping mechanisms.--Smauye 14:03, 14 April 2011 (UTC)

Smauye91 (talk)02:03, 15 April 2011
Edited by 2 users.
Last edit: 07:14, 20 April 2011

Poverty and illiteracy are the main causes of child labour. The argument has always been that children must support the family financially. Due to illiteracy and ignorance, such parents who give their children out to greedy employers do not see the harm done to the poor innocent child. I have seen children as young as 5 (five) sell in my neighbourhood and remember threatening to cause the arrest of the parents if the practice continued.

Pkakorsu (talk)10:49, 19 April 2011